protecting the defenceless

Sterek A-Z Challenge: one word prompts

Week 5: E - Emergency

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Derek couldn’t even begin to appreciate the unusually comfortable hospital chair because he was too intensely focused on Stiles lying unconscious in a hospital bed. It was so like Stiles to throw himself in front of a moving vehicle to save a little girl who had chased after her escaped balloon.

Stiles was a hero, and Derek would never expect anything less from him even if they no longer lived in Beacon Hills. That didn’t mean Derek couldn’t be furious. Or terrified. He’d already lost his entire family, everyone he’d ever loved, and the mere idea of losing Stiles made him physically ill.

Hearing a nurse calmly explain to him over the phone that there had been an accident nearly destroyed him. Stiles was all he had left.

Sighing, Derek shifted forward in his seat, hand tightening around Stiles’ hand. He hadn’t let go since he sat down.

The call came two hours after the accident while Derek was out for a jog. Stiles had been on the operating table at the time, rushed into emergency surgery.

That had been six hours ago. The doctors were concerned Stiles hadn’t woken up yet, and several further tests had been ordered. For now, it was a waiting game.

Patience had never been Derek’s strong suit. He was a fan of the maim first, ask questions later approach. Stiles had always been the one with the plan, though on several occasions, he’d rushed in, bat in hand. Derek didn’t know what was more frightening: Stiles facing down an angry alpha with a bat, Stiles possessed by an ancient evil, or Stiles unconscious and vulnerable in the hospital. At least against a supernatural, there was something for Derek to fight. Progress to be made. Not… waiting.

“Stiles…” Derek murmured. He moved to hold Stiles’ hand with both of his own and brushed his lips across the bruised knuckles. “I know you don’t listen to me. You never have, and it’s annoying as hell, but I’m begging you, for once in your life, please, listen to me now. You need to wake up. Stiles, please wake up.”

The only response was the steady beep of the heart monitor.

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anonymous asked:

Do you think Cas will get a happy ending? I used to be Cas' ending would be a choosing to be human thing but now I don't know. Not just the whole Billie thing but also Cas was involved in killing a child. There a certain things you just dont came back from and certain things show's won't have their main heroes do even in a fantasy setting -the protag can kill but he wont cheat, rape, or harm a child usually for example. :(

I didn’t feel like the episode was trying to tell us, Cas killed a kid and now he’s terrible, but instead, Cas feels responsible for the death of the kid, and he feels terrible, which really changes this from my perspective.

Dean killed a kid and it’s not routinely dragged out by the show to prove he shouldn’t be happy. I’m sure it’s tormenting him but narratively, that all disappeared when he got the Mark off into a sort of blob of generic terrible things he did under the Mark guilt, which wasn’t really that well explored either. At this point I’m sure they’re all writing it off as under mind control as a technicality, and not focusing on it like that.*

Sam drank the blood of a screaming nurse, killing her (a valued member of society with kind of a moral event horizon similar to killing children when it comes to listing innocents) - off screen, but it was Sam’s over-the-edge act that demonised HIS soul for all of 10 minutes at the end of season 4, and he only needed a season to repent for it all and stop Lucifer, and again, Cindy is pretty much never mentioned again. 

*Note: not interested in starting the debate about how culpable Dean is for the stuff under the Mark (or I guess Sam under demon blood and Ruby’s manipulations); just commenting on the way the show presented it. It’s probably under the same bracket as Sam trying to murder Bobby in 6x11. Everyone can feel guilty and horrible but for the sake of core characterisation it wasn’t their fault enough to drag them under with it, and in 3 episodes time they seem mostly back to normal :P

Anyway. Both of these actions were objectively worse and more terrible and actively detrimental to Sam and Dean’s moral fibre and our perceptions of them than anything they showed with Cas. I’m not just defending Cas because, idk, I like him more than Sam and Dean; I don’t hate either of them for these things (and if I like Cas more it’s unrelated :P) 

This episode was very careful to establish a villain who would evilly want to kill a child because he’s just plain awful (Ishim) and to contrast Cas to him repeatedly as a dark mirror to Cas’s character, AND use his actions of lying to them to make them enact orders that were emphatically described as part of the angel’s moral code, to trick the rest of the angels into being complicit in this murder. 

Even when Cas thought it was a nephilim and not a human child, this was his immediate reaction to the nephilim being killed - a being that he thought was an abomination and that should be destroyed by all the laws he upheld:

He flinches at the sound of a young girl screaming, despite all of that, there’s a part of him even then that’s not entirely okay with it - that same part of him that’s always been terrible at following orders and of feeling sympathetic or protective of the innocent and defenceless, which is his core goodness that makes him such a great character. 

This scene also directly implies that Cas murdered who knows how many babies:

Not always, angel. There was that day, back in Egypt, not so long ago, where we slew every first-born infant whose door wasn’t splashed with lamb’s blood. And that was just PR.

Well, I wasn’t there.

Oh, you were there. You just don’t remember it.

And the implication was that he resisted and rebelled there, and maybe even was controlled to do it just like Naomi forcing Cas to attack Dean in the crypt, as by that point it was established she could control his actions completely and use him to kill whoever she wanted (except Dean that one time - but the “first borns” thing is interesting to me anyway for the comparison). 

All of this is meant to horrify us but I don’t think it’s meant to show Cas has broken morality - instead it highlights that he has GOOD morality because of how he reacts to these evil actions and situations, and the fact both times it’s less that he’s made evil choices but that he never had a choice. He may not have had “true” free will until 4x22 when he finally chooses to rebel against heaven and no longer heed their orders, and to decide for himself what is right or not. Obviously killing Lily’s kid came way before that, so we have to weigh how Cas’s character evolved over season 4, the way it was shown Heaven manipulated out dissent and rebellion (Anna tells us rebellious angels will be killed) and gives us the sort of emotional backstory on what Cas would have been up against 100 years ago, following orders and believing completely in Heaven because what other choice did he have? The fact his orders in this case were a lie isn’t even a part of this line of thought - if it HAD been a nephilim, this is how Cas reacted and felt, and what he was up against convincing him he had to do it while he was basically in a state where he was unable to pretty much THINK dissent or more than vague uncertain doubts he didn’t give voice to until 4x07 (100 years later :P). Throw in their absolute and unquestionable law that nephilim are evil and must be killed, and of course the Cas we saw there is following these orders and could have seemed even pleased or satisfied that the child was killed, but EVEN SO, he flinched.

BUT looking at the wider picture, even that they were lied to on top of that somewhat diminished responsibility, I’d agree blood is still on their hands because they helped, but their actual intent to murder is completely diminished by Ishim’s actions because they didn’t know it was an innocent human child and obviously would not have gone along with it if they knew. As the only angel who survived to find out what Ishim had really done, Cas isn’t just in a place to question his orders and assumptions about it being fine to murder Nephilim on principle, but to feel betrayed, manipulated and coerced into the murder of Lily’s kid - obviously this is on a personal level away from how Cas actually talks to Lily about what happened. All he can do THERE is express how sorry he is and to admit her right to be avenged if she wants to, because of course whatever he FEELS about it, his past actions still helped lead to her child’s murder. 

This episode definitely gave a lot of room to ethically exonerate Cas of everything except what will be his conflict with the current nephilim plot - the duty/obligation/moral code from Heaven which dictates that they must be destroyed. And even that, he has to admit he’s now gained enough insight that even seeing it as a separate thing from what happened with Lily’s kid (since she wasn’t a nephilim, the ethical lesson about murder being bad technically doesn’t apply to actual nephilim) he WOULD feel some hesitation now, so the episode has even begun to shake his faith in that, even setting aside that tiny hint that our Cas has always been in there somewhere even when following these orders seemingly blindly. He was the angel who doubted.

I mean, there’s still a long and dodgy road to go about wtf the show will do with Lucifer’s baby, but this is a good sign that they’re edging away from killing it on principle, and it’s Cas’s principle that’s dictating that. So he hasn’t actually reached the same crossroads as Sam and Dean did when they murdered innocents, and he’s already had a strong lesson in questioning his assumptions, and what to do about nephilim. I think unless he decides to do it anyway, at this point your fears about him being unredeemable aren’t a problem yet at all.

At the moment I don’t feel Cas is in any moral danger in this way compared to Sam and Dean’s various bad moral slides, because he started in the uncompromising place, in 12x08 and flashback!Cas whose lines were pretty much all enforcing the idea from Heaven that nephilim are bad and need to be killed and so on, and now by the end of 12x10 this has been at least chipped at a little so far. I have some hope now that Cas will make the right choice, by whatever standards the show works on (this whole thing is really ethically messed up when it comes to the Lucifer baby stuff so idk how much that will relate to what fans think the right choice will be and people with different opinions in general will react differently to what they do, I guess.) But at least by the show’s apparent rules for the characters and whether they’re being presented as good, bad, redeemable, in danger of moral lapse, they’re apparently trying to show us Cas changing and learning and hoping to find another way to deal with it than the old, absolute rule of Heaven he was trying to enforce. Which is all a positive sign that he WON’T go down a bad road and kill the kid and end up in this place where it affects him in the long run…

I hope :P 

I don’t know if Cas will get a happy ending or not because they’re really messing around filling time on a show they know at the moment they can write as if it will never end, but Cas has clear goals set out for happiness and belonging and a sense of home, as well as obstacles to stop him getting there, settling in, and then being in a place where he’s achieved all his goals before the end, and then obviously has to have terrible stuff happen to him to take it away again because that’s not how things work in stories >.> So these delays on Cas getting what he wants are good because obviously they want to hold something back for him to aim at.

But I definitely don’t think Cas has been damaged beyond the point of ethical redemption or deservedness of a happy ending.

I DID in my watching notes, when Ishim was talking about tearing out Lily’s heart because she broke his, and went for her daughter, immediately link it to when by Cas’s POV on being heartbroken by his family turning on him and refusing to help/believe in him/trust him in 6x20, he then goes off and breaks Sam’s wall to slow up Dean from stopping him. Obviously that’s a really exaggerated bad example I just made with a lot of character slander to compare what Cas was doing to what Ishim did. BUT it was his one big, truly “unforgivable” action in the narrative. 

Dean acts as the shows moral compass, and often/mostly has the final say on ethical issues like this, determining who is good and bad (and if he’s wrong, it’s on his shoulders to deal with that - 7x03 was the last episode I watched this week working through the show with my mum, and of course the next episode after that is the judgement one where Dean’s heart is weighed, and blah blah off track here but Dean’s moral judgement is really important on the show). DEAN FORGIVES CAS for hurting Sam. It’s an almost miraculous recovery because to Dean hurting Sam is just… the absolute worst thing you can do. Dean is otherwise the sort of person who would advocate shooting their own grandfather for betrayal, but after Cas does it and inflicts the worst damage on Sam we’ve seen anyone go through in the whole show… He lets Cas back in and accepts his attempts to redeem himself. Cas’s season 7 redemption is one of the most important stories on the show for him or Dean or even Sam when it comes to personal relationships… I like to just randomly watch Cas’s season 7 episodes and bawl at the screen :P 

Anyway, Cas went right over the moral event horizon in 6x22, but he was brought back already, years ago, and like Sam jumping into the cage to atone for season 4, has been morally recovered, in a way, for a very long time. He still feels some guilt for it but the narrative (which blurs with Dean’s opinion :P) has forgiven him. Sam and Dean are initially horrified by Cas’s story in the middle of the episode, but don’t reject him and the final conversation is positive, with them discussing that change and hoping for a change with their next decisions.

(still not sure what’s up with Dean and the Mark and all that, but as I said… rug sweeping :P But yeah, Dean is the character always talking about how they go down swinging and doesn’t see a happy end, and I do think he doesn’t think he deserves one, just that exploring any of the reasons why has all been suppressed by him, so it’s not being dealt with >.> He’s probably got a list of reasons dating back to when he was four years old. Whether HE gets the happy ending is something they’ve been poking at for years, and when that starts getting properly addressed, we’ll know the show is nearly over :P)

Some thoughts about Book vs Show Brienne

This post on how traditional medieval/Planetos women’s roles and activities receive a heavy bashing in Weiss and Benioff’s Inglorious Bastardisation got me thinking about how badly the show’s handled Brienne, and how D&D’s version of her is emblematic of their complete and utter misunderstanding of the key messages contained in GRRM’s work, ASOIAF.

The show makes it clear over and over again that the writers regard femininity and feminine pursuits or interests as things which are weak and to be despised, and not things which have value and power in themselves. For example, we also have Arya’s line to Tywin - “most girls are idiots” - in response to him noting most girls like songs and stories of fair maidens, and Brienne’s criticism of Jaime’s self-pity after he loses his sword hand is turned into internalised misogyny: whereas book!Brienne asks “are you so craven?”, show!Brienne accuses him of crying “like some bloody woman”.

One of the key aspects of Brienne’s character is that, as her master-of-arms said, “you have a man’s strength in your arms, but [her] heart is as soft as any maid’s.” In an explicitly anti-war, anti-violence text, GRRM (unlike Ser Goodwin) clearly means this to be a good thing, as it is this ‘held-to-be-feminine’ gentleness which enables Brienne to act as a nurturing figure to Pod, to value the lives of innocents above her personal vows and honour, and to exemplify the true ideals of knighthood in protecting the defenceless, and not the brutal aspects of knighthood as described by Sandor Clegane.

The mere thought of killing anyone makes book!Brienne queasy; show!Brienne on the other hand has been defined by her willingness and desire to kill - in other words to act like her society’s idea of a traditional masculine warrior, a instead of a true knight with a soft heart. While escorting Jaime to King’s Landing, she kills three men rapidly, one particularly brutally after he brags about raping a woman; in abandoning her watch for Sansa to kill Stannis, she prioritises vengeance over protecting the innocent while a key theme of the books is the futility and wholly destructive nature of vengeance. In both cases the people she slays have been set up as deserving the deaths she metes out to them, we are supposed to cheer her and see her as a kind of righteous avenging angel. Show!Brienne is nothing short of a mean-spirited bully to the ever-loyal and eager to help Pod until she comes to a sudden realisation that she is indeed behaving badly towards him, something so far removed from the kind and empathetic woman who never mistreats anyone in the books. All this mischaracterisation comes about because the writers wrongly think, like Ser Goodwin, that strength and gentleness cannot go hand in hand.

It’s also established that book!Brienne chose to try to become a knight not because she doesn’t want to be like other girls, but rather because she feels neither fish nor fowl. Like Arya, she does not despise their society’s ideal of traditional womanly virtues and pursuits, she would desperately love to excel at them, but her homely and physically imposing appearance bars her from doing so. And this is where D&D miss the point completely: the actual problem is not that to be feminine is somehow inherently bad, or weak, or worthless, it’s that the patriarchal Westerosi society dictates that women must adhere to this, instead of offering them a choice. However, the show actually agrees with this worldview that ‘girly things’ are effectively worthless, so liking girly things is bad, so to be a strong woman you rage against the machine by despising all things girly. Add this pinch of casual dudebro sexism and a profound misreading of the text to the deeply disturbing treatment of women on the show, and you have an appallingly anti-woman result, far removed from GRRM’s actual message.

  • Anti Self DX-ers: self diagnosing is very bad it trivialises what actually autistic people go through!
  • Autistic community: actually we understand how hard it can be for some people to get a diagnosis, and also getting the paper diagnosis has made my life significantly harder so we understand
  • Anti Self DXers: You all don't even act autistic! You probably have no idea what being autistic is really like!
  • Autistic Community: please don't say "act autistic", there's no one way we act because autism presents differently in everyone and also informed self diagnosis is okay!
  • Anti Self DXers: You are just drawing attention and resources away from ~real~ autistic people! You always say "don't talk over" but you all are all talking over real autistic people!
  • Autistic Community: um
  • Anti Self DXers: the autistic community totally agrees with us! Look at us protecting all those defenceless autistic children!
  • Autistic Community: we aren't all children-
  • Anti Self DXers: the autistic community needs our help *donates to autism speaks*